President Hakainde Hichilema says peace is a catalyst to economic development and must therefore be embraced at all cost.
President Hichilema observes that for any country to realise meaningful development, peace is critical.
He says continuous training of military officers should be promoted to enhance their skills.
Mr Hichilema said this in Lusaka today in a speech read for him by Defence Minister, Ambrose Lufuma, at the 24th graduation ceremony of 79 military officers who graduated from Defence Service Command and Staff College.
The President added that the vision of the government is to have a united prosperous Zambia that provides equal opportunities for all, including the men and women in uniform.
He explained that government’s desire is to equip military personnel with adequate and quality knowledge for them to safeguard the territorial peace.
“Indeed, peace and security are of paramount importance for the country to foster social and economic development, hence capacitating military officers is crucial,” President Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema further his desire is to see a defence force that is well grounded in professionalism.
He noted that the provision of quality education at any level is not the responsibility of government alone, but a collective undertaking.
The President further stated that Zambia has been a beacon of peace, adding that this reputation can only be maintained by continuously imparting knowledge in the defence personnel from time to time.
“We need a professional defence force that is capable of safeguarding the territorial integrity of our Republic and creating an enabling environment for development to take place,” he said.
He praised the Staff College for continuously offering quality military education to local and foreign officers, a situation that has raised the profile of the college to the outside world.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema has directed Minister of Defence, Ambrose Lufuma to look for funds to enable the Staff College complete the new campus in Makeni area.
He said once the new college is complete, it will increase the enrolment capacity in the defence force.
And Staff College Commandant, Humphrey Nyone, said 79 officers out of 92 have graduated from the Staff College after 11 months of intensive training for a University of Zambia Diploma in defence and security studies.
Brigadier General Nyone explained that the officers have learnt skills in modern military trends such as the optimal use of military materials among others.
He said since inception, the College has churned out 1,508 local military personnel and 360 officers drawn from various countries, especially in the SADC region.
Brig. Gen. Nyone said the graduates are now able to undertake any military assignment following the new skills they have acquired.